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Old 20-05-2009, 23:36   #1
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Gas Solenoid

Its just one darn thing after another.......
Now my gas bottle solenoid switch is acting up. Occasionally, it switches itself off which gets my wife very upset, especially when she has a loaf of bread cooking in the oven. I have sat for hours with my multi meter at the solenoid and am quite unable to detect any variation in the voltage so assume that the problem lies with the solenoid itself, which I admit is pretty ancient. The trouble is I can't see why this should be - the current energises the coil which creates a magnetic field which holds the valve open, so what's to go intermittantly wrong? Surely it should either work or it shouldn't. Has anyone had similar troubles, or is it so that solenoids get a bit unreliable with age?

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Old 21-05-2009, 00:42   #2
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It could get gummed up with propane gas oils - a bit of a nasty residue that I have seen come out of regulators. Solenoids do fail though I am not sure why to be honest.
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Old 21-05-2009, 02:23   #3
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In responce to regulators and their failure, well the wife and I just replaced our cook stove oven with a new force 10 three burner, oven broiler type. Once installed everything worked except the oven it would not lite. With checking with the manufacture, and performing tests and cleaning the orfice, we thought that the new BEP gas detector might be the problem, which comes equiped with a solenoid. Not wishing to wait for the long procedure of exchanging out parts, I went and bit the bullet and bought a regulator for residental use which has a test port as well can be adjusted and installed it right at the stove. After the project finished the stove worked great, guess the new BEP unit is defective. I'm guessing it was the cause for us changing out the old stove as we were able to detect gas leaking out the shafts after left on for a bit, the result being to much pressure. Thus the high pressure was blowing out the flame in the new oven.

As for your problem with the switch you could install a test LED light accross the circuit so when it does shut down check to see if the light is on or off, this will show whether its a power interruption or soleniod.
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Old 21-05-2009, 07:16   #4
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My solenoid fails about once every 2-3 years; usually when I'm about to grill staeaks on the stern grill. I always have a spare on board.
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Old 21-05-2009, 17:00   #5
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The winding in the solenoid can develop an intermittent open connection due to expansion from heat each time it's used.
By the time you get it disconnected to check it with an ohmmeter, it may have cooled off enough to reconnect. It doesn't have to get hot to fail this way.

Steve B..
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Old 21-05-2009, 17:51   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
The winding in the solenoid can develop an intermittent open connection due to expansion from heat each time it's used.
BING! Senor is the lucky winner! If the unit first opens, then quits without losing power to its pigtails, you've got an intermittent heat induced coil problem. Man that guy is good!
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Old 22-05-2009, 03:14   #7
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is it so that solenoids get a bit unreliable with age?
I was once told by a wise and mechanically smart boater that if there is a solenoid in a system that is acting up, suspect it early in troubleshooting, because they do age and can act up intermittently. Over three years I once chased a problem of intermittent shutdowns in an engine. The problem was very intermittent but gradually worsened. Spent a small pile on ignition parts, tach, mechanics, rewiring etc. Turned out to be a $20 slave starter solenoid.
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Old 22-05-2009, 12:06   #8
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...bought a regulator for residental use which has a test port as well can be adjusted and installed it right at the stove...
Are you sure that's a good idea? Propane regulators are designed to "breathe", releasing small amounts of propane. You can see the screened vent for that purpose. They also have a pressure valve designed to dump gas in quantity if there's an overpressure situation. I've always understood that gas regulators should be located outside the living space in a well-ventilated location.
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Old 22-05-2009, 14:47   #9
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I was wondering the same thing but if you were to go to a propane store which sells propane stoves and ask to see the regulator they will lift the top cover and there it is in with the elements. This was a real surprise I must say, but the tech assured me it was okay. Not to be a doubting Thomas I have mounted a gas dedector right beside the regulator to see if there are small leaks as the dector will shot off the gas right away as have performed such a test. I'm thinking though that soon down the road will re plumb the regulator back to the tank locker.
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Old 23-05-2009, 04:13   #10
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Are you sure that's a good idea? Propane regulators are designed to "breathe", releasing small amounts of propane. You can see the screened vent for that purpose. They also have a pressure valve designed to dump gas in quantity if there's an overpressure situation. I've always understood that gas regulators should be located outside the living space in a well-ventilated location.
EXACTLY!!!

Pressure-reducing gas regulators are (almost) always located outdoors,
and a minimum of 3 feet from any opening to the building,
and a minimum of 5 feet from any supply-air intake.

When a gas meter/regulator is used indoors (very rare, & by “special” dispensation), good practice and plumbing codes require that the regulator be connected to a vent pipe extending to the outdoors, so that in the unlikely event of a leak-failure of the gas pressure regulator, leaking gas will not accumulate in the building (boat) where it would form an explosion hazard.

See also
ABYC Standard A-1
Marine Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) Systems


http://www.abycinc.org/standards/purpose.cfm

Full copy of Superceded 2000 edition:

http://www.abycinc.org/committees/A-01.pdf
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Old 23-05-2009, 04:41   #11
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It seems that your good with the info there Gord but why not make a trip to the local propane stove store and asked them to lift the top of the stove and see what is there, you'll find a regulator, how would you answer that one. Have been personally assured and read the instructions for the installation of this regulator and it is to be with in a meter of the unit. I might say this is not your regular regulator. Just a quick piont here I'm a licensed propane mechanic as well and this goes against rules I understand but then things do change.
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Old 23-05-2009, 05:43   #12
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We seem to be debating a semantic issue - what do we mean by “regulator”?

The LPG gas “regulator” located on/at the appliance, is actually a control valve, which regulates the flow of gas, not the pressure.

The vented pressure-reducing “regulator”. located in the outdoor cylinder locker (vented overboard), delivers gas, under varying inlet pressures & appliance loads, at an outlet pressure not in excess of 50 Mb (5 kPa)*.

* 50 Mb / 5 kPa ≈ about 0.725 PSI, or about 20 inches of water column.

The basic function of an LPG Regulator is to take a high and varied inlet pressure from the LPG cylinder and reduces it to a safe and consistent outlet pressure , where the appliance regulator controls the flow (on-off, more-less).

I'm not a licenced gas fitter.

See also ➥ http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles...gas-chapt9.pdf

This is what I mean by LPG Regulator (c/w gauge)
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Old 23-05-2009, 07:22   #13
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Well must say your info is right but wrong regulator, not the same in any fashion, looks more like a piggy back device with test ports and adjusting ports, this allows the adjustment for needed presure for new designed stoves and ovens as I've learned with talking with Force 10, it was with their help and instructions of which I've been able to get through this new understanding, with then end result that I have a stove which works, something of which in my field would never have believed but as I have said things are changing.
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Old 23-05-2009, 07:38   #14
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I'm sorry, I don't understand your point.

Perehaps this will be a more descriptive picture of a Pressure-Reducing Regulator (with shut-off valve), as installed at the tank. The port at the right is for the Low-Pressure distribution (to stove), and the bottom port is the vent.
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Old 23-05-2009, 12:59   #15
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The pressure regulator on my propane tank developed a major leak after about six years of use. I noticed this when I smelled the strong odor of gas after opening the valve on the tank in order to pressurize the line to the (external) solenoid so I could use the stove. It turns out that the diaphragm in the regulator had failed, allowing large quantities of gas to escape into the external tank well.

I hate to think about the consequences of such a failure inside the boat!
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